• Each year, Lee University proudly hosts some of the world's most exceptional artists and musicians in its Presidential Concert Series.  Information regarding each artist featured in the Presidential Concert Series is listed below. Simply click anywhere in the gray boxes to expand and display the information.

    Ilya Yakushev

    Ilya Yakushev

    Thursday, September 15, 2016

    Pangle Hall

    A guest of the series in 2011, Yakushev is a Russian pianist with many awards and honors to his credit. Highlights from Yakushev’s 2014-2015 season include performances with Rhode Island Philharmonic, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and Brevard Music Center Orchestra. He also performed with the La Crosse Symphony, Pensacola Symphony, and Saratov Philharmonic.

    In 2014, he became a member of the St. Petersburg Piano Quartet, as well as having some of his work published by British label Nimbus Records, being named “one of the very best young pianists before the public today” by American Record Guide. In 2007, Yakushev made his San Francisco Symphony debut with music director Michael Tilson Thomas, where his performances were included in the top 10 classical music events of the year by the San Francisco Chronicle, prompting a return performance to the Symphony in 2009. He was also the winner of the 2005 World Piano Competition that took place in Cincinnati, Ohio.

    Receiving his first award at age 12, Yakushev has been the recipient of several other awards between then and now, as well as performing in various prestigious venues worldwide in past seasons.

    Yakushev is one of the many world-class performers who will take the stage at Lee, as this year’s Presidential Concert Series will host a variety of talents, including pianists, vocalists, violinists, cellists, and more.

    Lee University Symphony Orchestra

    Lee University Symphony Orchestra

    Monday, September 26, 2016

    Conn Center

    Arrival from Sweden: The Music of Abba

    ARRIVAL From Sweden is one of the world’s most popular and bestselling ABBA show bands since its start in 1995. They have toured 48 nations and appeared in several television and radio shows all over the world. This Swedish Super Group claims ABBA as Sweden’s biggest music export ever and hopes to carry on the legacy from generation to generation.

    The Lee Symphony Orchestra is conducted by Bernhardt, who led the Chattanooga Symphony for 19 years and is a popular guest conductor for orchestras around the country. Bernhardt joined Lee's School of Music in the fall of 2011 as an artist-in-residence and conductor of the Lee Symphony Orchestra. He also serves as music director emeritus of the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera (CSO) and principal pops conductor of the Chattanooga, Grand Rapids, and Louisville Symphonies.

    Chanticleer

    Chanticleer

    Tuesday, October 25, 2016

    Pangle Hall

    Praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for their “tonal luxuriance and crisply-etched clarity,” Chanticleer is known around the world as “an orchestra of voices” for the seamless blend of its 12 male voices ranging from countertenor to bass and its original interpretations of vocal literature, from Renaissance to jazz, and from gospel to venturesome new music.

    Chanticleer is in its 38th season, performing throughout the United States, Germany, Austria, Italy, Hong Kong, Singapore, Macao, the Republic of China, and the People’s Republic of China. Since the group began releasing recordings in 1981, it has sold well over a million albums and won two GRAMMY® awards. It was named Ensemble of the Year by Musical America in 2008 and was installed in the American Classical Music Hall of Fame the same year.

    Isabelle Faust & Alexander Melnikov

    Isabelle Faust & Alexander Melnikov

    Monday, November 14, 2016

    Pangle Hall

    At an early age, Faust won the prestigious Leopold Mozart and Paganini competitions and was soon invited to appear with the world’s leading orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo. She continues to be one of the most sought-after violinists in the world and regularly performs or records with world-renowned conductors.

    Melnikov, known for his creative musical and programmatic decisions, discovered a career-long interest in historically-informed performance practice at an early age. He regularly performs with several distinguished period ensembles and orchestras.

    In 2010, the duo won both a Gramophone Award and Germany’s ECHO Klassik Prize and was nominated for a GRAMMY® for their recording of the Beethoven Sonatas. Melnikov’s recording of the Preludes and Fugues by Shostakovich was also awarded the BBC Music Magazine Award, and in 2011 it was named one of the “50 Greatest Recordings of All Time” by the BBC Music Magazine.

    Susannah Biller Kness

    Susannah Biller Kness, Soprano

    Tuesday, January 24, 2017

    Pangle Hall

    Praised by the San Francisco Chronicle as an “artist ready for the big time,” Kness was recently seen as Daisy in the San Francisco premiere of John Harbison’s “The Great Gatsby” with Ensemble Paralléle. In recent seasons, she was a member of the prestigious Adler Fellowship Program with the San Francisco Opera (SFO). Along with the SFO, Kness has sung with the Gotham Chamber Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, Portland Opera, San Diego Opera and Opera Theatre of St. Louis.

    Ning An

    Ning & Friends

    Tuesday, February 21, 2017

    Pangle Hall

    In a welcome return to the concert series, brilliant pianists and familiar faces Gloria Chien and Ning An will perform on Feb. 21, 2017.

    Chien, who has been a member of the Lee music faculty since 2004, began playing piano at the age of five in her native Taiwan. She has been called “a coat-of-many-colors pianist,” and holds a doctor of musical arts, a master’s, and a bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. She is a Steinway artist and currently serves as an artist-in-residence at Lee.

    A prize winner of the World Piano Competition, Harvard Musical Association Award, and the San Antonio International Piano Competition, Chien has presented solo recitals at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Harvard Musical Association, Sanibel Musical Festival, Caramoor Musical Festival, Salle Cortot in Paris, and the National Concert Hall in Taiwan.

    Chien was appointed the director of the Chamber Music Institute at Music@Menlo, a chamber music festival and institute in the San Francisco Bay Area, and has participated there for 10 years. She has been a member of the Chamber Music Society (CMS) of Lincoln Center since 2012, and now frequently plays at Alice Tully Hall in New York as well as other venues around the country with CMS on Tour. Chien is the founding director of “String Theory,” a chamber music series in Chattanooga, now beginning its eighth season in partnership with Lee University and the Hunter Museum of American Art.

    Also an artist-in-residence in Lee’s School of Music, An is hailed by the New York Concert Review as a musician who “combines a flawless technique and mastery of the instrument with an expressive power that is fueled by profound and insightful understanding.”

    An’s top prizes from the Queen Elizabeth, Cleveland, and William Kapell Piano competitions have led to performances across the globe, from Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall and Milan’s Salle Verdi to Beijing’s Great Hall of the People. He has performed with some of the world’s great ensembles, including the Ysaÿe, Daedalus, and Takács quartets, as well as with renowned instrumentalists such as Díaz and Paul Neubauer.